Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The MTA Hikes

My greatest experience with public transport may be the MTA song we used to sing at camp. That being said, the New York MTA system will be experiencing fare hikes and reduced service. While this directly affects me just about zero, I do believe there was and is a way to avoid the drastic solution to keeping the system afloat.

Back in my days as an economist, I wrote a paper about the benefits of a congestion charge, especially in places like New York. Such a fee would charge automobiles for using the streets of downtown Manhattan during peak hours. There are scaled prices for residents, and obvious passes for emergency and service vehicles, and pubic transport. 

Singapore has been a shining example of how a system can be implemented. Since implementation, the city has experienced significantly reduced traffic, lower travel times, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the congestion charge system raises funds towards the upkeep and construction of infrastructure.

Such a system in the NYC would not only open up the roads, but also raise the needed funds (or be a good start towards) continuing the current level of service and pricing for the MTA system. Now, it definitely has its drawbacks, one of the big ones being financial discrimination on a public causeway. But the benefits outweigh the costs, despite what would assuredly be a public outcry upon implementation.  

I like talking about this, and could go on. Let me know if you want to discuss further.

Per usual, TFR.



  1. did he ever return? nope. he never returned.

  2. the song is about Boston, not New York...

  3. I was going to make fun of you for not knowing that the MTA is in Boston, but it appears that someone beat me to it. Also, I had to hear my brother play that song about a million times last summer...the kiddies love it.

  4. For the record, I am well aware it is in Boston. Just making an interesting intro.

  5. Bloomberg has actually already attempted to create less congestion in my wonderful city with fare hikes at all the bridges and tunnels as well as with rush hour taxi surcharges. He has also instituted a number of incentive programs for companies and riders to get discounts to use public transportation such as the MTA as well as LIRR and MetroNorth. Unfortunately there are many New Yorkers that will not get on a subway or bus, trust me, I went to middle and high school with many.

    The NYC subway and bus system is also the largest public transportation system in the world covering 5 boroughs and serving millions. It is the only public transportation that runs 24 hours a day and with that and salary hikes for conductors and drivers to keep up with inflation it really isnt that shocking. I remember when fares were $1, then $1.50, then $2.00. But what people don't remember is that it is still the best deal in town in terms of getting around. You get free transfers and can usually complete a trip for one fare (even if it includes multiple subway lines and a bus!)

    I had to say something. This is kinda my city.

  6. Now, let me tell you a story about a man named Charlie...

    You know, that song is about the Boston transit system, not New York.